New York Times looks at a sprawling industrial complex on the rise in rural Oregon. The Grey Lady wouldn’t care about such things, except in this case, the company behind the project is Google.
On the banks of the windswept Columbia River, Google is working on a secret weapon in its quest to dominate the next generation of Internet computing. But it is hard to keep a secret when it is a computing center as big as two football fields, with twin cooling plants protruding four stories into the sky.
The complex, sprawling like an information-age factory, heralds a substantial expansion of a worldwide computing network handling billions of search queries a day and a growing repertory of other Internet services.
And odd as it may seem, the barren desert land surrounding the Columbia along the Oregon-Washington border — at the intersection of cheap electricity and readily accessible data networking — is the backdrop for a multibillion-dollar face-off among Google, Microsoft and Yahoo that will determine dominance in the online world in the years ahead.
Interestingly, Microsoft and Yahoo both have plans to build similar facilities nearby in Wenatchee and Quincy, Wash., 130 miles to the north.